The internet-famous inflatable reindeer that was mercilessly mauled by a bear in Lake Tahoe is now being auctioned on eBay. It happened last week in Zephyr Cove on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Dave Lester’s innocent inflatable Rudolph was set upon by a very famished bear. The video captured the bear appearing to be inquisitive as it poked the deer. The bear then decided to take a bite and ran away soon after realizing that the deer wasn’t food.
The next morning, Lester woke up to find that Rudolph was no longer with us. At first, Lester thought the power had gone out to the fan that kept Rudolph inflated. But upon closer inspection, he found something much more interesting. “I thought it was an electrical issue since the plug was pulled out,” Lester explained to The Dodo. “I plugged it back in, [but] Rudolph wouldn’t blow back up.” However, upon closer inspection, he “found bite marks and claw marks.”
Lester wanted to find out what had happened to Rudolph, so he checked his security cameras for anything unusual that might have happened overnight. “Lo and behold, it was our neighborhood bear,” Lester quipped. No one understands why the bear pummeled Rudolph that night, but what resulted was clear: The inflatable reindeer would never recover.
The inflatable reindeer will be auctioned off for a good cause
“Sad news, woke up this morning to Rudolph laying on the ground unresponsive. No amount of CPR or duct tape could revive him,” Dave Lester wrote on social media at the time. “Upon reviewing my Ring cam video, it appears that a hungry Tahoe Bear was not in the Christmas spirit.” Reportedly, the inflatable reindeer was only 2 years old.
Still, Lester has no hard feelings about his departed reindeer decoration. “We love our Tahoe bears no matter what they do,” Lester explained. “We live in their habitat. They were here long before us. The bear has probably walked by the reindeer 30 or 40 times and never attacked him. It’s definitely a rare occurrence, but it’s just part of living with wildlife.”
“The reindeer carcass is going on eBay with 100% of the proceeds going to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and the BEAR League of Lake Tahoe,” Lester said. “[It’s] a great opportunity to share bear awareness and raise money for injured wildlife.” Though the listing started at just 99 cents, it’s already up to $160 as of this writing. This auction will be up for another 6 days and has 62 eBay users “watching” it. Lester is hopeful the fun listing will raise a little cash for his charities of choice. He was optimistic in his listing, writing: “Hopefully we can make this go viral and get some donations for these amazing organizations who’s only goal is to help out our animals. Bid often, it’s the holidays!!!”